; Minutes of the Avon Planning Board—September 11_ 2008
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Minutes of the Avon Planning Board—September 11_ 2008


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									                          Minutes of the Avon Planning Board—September 11, 2008

The meeting was opened by Chairman Richard Maloney at 7 PM.
Attendance- Present- Davey, Maxwell, Placitella, Ryan, Maloney.
           Present (not voting or participating), Egan, O’Malley, Mahon
           Absent- DeBlock, Ernst, McGovern,
           Also present- Planning Board Engineer Charles Rooney, Attorney James Carton,
                Planning Board Secretary and Zoning Officer Clifford Brautigan.

The hearing scheduled for this meeting was a continuation of the hearing from August 21, 2008
for Michael Caringi of 400 First Ave. Mr. Caringi appealed the decision of the Avon Zoning
Officer, Clifford Brautigan, for not approving his plans to build a new residence at 400 First Ave.

Attorney Gregory Vella represented Mr. Caringi in this matter.

Only four of the five board members eligible to hear this application were present. Chairman
Maloney informed Attorney Vella of this situation, and suggested this hearing could be continued
at the October meeting when one of the two members eligible to participate might be available.
Attorney Vella discussed this with Mr. Caringi and then indicated they will continue the hearing at
this time with the four members.

Board member Ray Maxwell, who was absent from the August meeting, stated he had listened to
the tape on September 6, 2008.

Attorney Vella started his presentation by reviewing the issues:
1.      The area under the trellises should not be considered part of the building lot coverage.
2.      The deck on the top floor of the residence should be permitted.
3.      That the board members had received a copy of the plans that were discussed and entered into
        evidence at the August meeting.
After completion of the review by Attorney Vella, Mr. Brautigan, the Zoning Officer, was sworn
in as a witness to provide testimony. Mr. Brautigan explained why he rejected the plans submitted
by the applicant. In his testimony Mr. Brautigan did refer back to Exhibit A-3, the Tarantin file from
the building department, and Exhibit A-2 the Rejection Form dated July 2, 2008 denying the
application. After his presentation Attorney Vella questioned Mr. Brautigan about the Tarantin plans.
During the questioning Mr. Brautigan and Attorney Vella disagreed as to what he was referring to at
the August meeting when he referred to the Tarantin plans showing a balcony or a deck on the East
side roof of the residence. In answer to a question from Mr. Maxwell, that if the balcony was approved
for the Tarantin residence on the East side top floor, possible in error, is the board required to make
 the same mistake on this property. Attorney Carton replied, “the answer is no.” That is not a reason
to grant this request for the Caringi application.

Attorney Vella then questioned Mr. Brautigan about third floors being allowed, decks being allowed
on the upper floor of a residence, and what constitutes a third floor. As the attorney disagreed with the
interpretations provided by Mr. Brautigan he then questioned Engineer Rooney about decks being
allowed on a third floor.

When questioned Engineer Rooney indicated this application is for a two-story residence and the deck
in question is a roof top deck. He further explain that although the building has two and one half stories
the front section of the residence is effectively only two stories. He added that in some prior cases
applicants were willing to give up some interior space by pulling the third floor wall back to provide a
 small third floor deck.
                                                                             Page 2 Sept. 11, 2008

Robert Adler the architect was called by Attorney Vella to testify. Mr. Adler provided his
interpretation of the Avon ordinance as it is related to a third floor and decks.

In regard to the trellis Mr. Brautigan stated he did not deny the trellis, but does believe it should be
included in the building lot coverage. Also, he did approve the trellis for the Tarantin residence and
included it in the building lot coverage.

Mr. Maxwell asked about the area this trellis would cover and was informed it would cover an area
about 8 feet by 18 feet, that under the trellis would be the entrance deck to the house, and it is

When asked a question by Ms. Placitella Mr. Adler stated this house, including the trellis, will meet
all required set backs.

Mr. Ryan then stated, if it is a deck, decks are not allowed in the front yard of a residence. On one
 hand you call it a deck and on the other hand you call it a porch. Mr. Adler answered there is no
roof, so it is a deck. It meets the definition of a deck.

Attorney Vella then asked a question of Mr. Brautigan, your finding is that the trellis is a roof, is
that fair to say.
Mr. Brautigan- It is my finding that the trellis is part of the building lot coverage.
Attorney Vella-Why is the trellis part of building lot coverage?
Mr. Brautigan- Because it extends out from the house.
Attorney Vella- So you are saying that anything that extends out from the house is part of coverage?
 Mr. Brautigan- No, what I just said is, this trellis is part of building lot coverage.
Attorney Vella asked Mr. Brautigan is the purpose of a trellis to create living space.
Mr. Brautigan answered in the area under this trellis you could put a picnic table, chairs and
create living space. Attorney Vella then asked, is not living space something that you live in all
year round. Mr. Brautigan answered no that is your definition.
Attorney Vella- What is your definition?
Mr. Brautigan- an area you can occupy … you can do things with …

Attorney Vella- I have no further questions except rebuttal on the trellis question.

Attorney Vella then asked Architect Adler to give and explain his definition of a trellis and
why he feels it is not living space.

Mr., Ryan- Does the decking have a foundation underneath.
Mr. Adler Sure, it has footings.
Mr. Ryan- Then the foundation of the deck is part of the building.
Ms. Placitella Would you put porch furniture out on this deck?
Mr. Adler-We have not had any discussion on what might be on this deck
Ms. Placitella-but it would be possible to do that.
Mr. Adler- Well it is 7 feet deep so you could fit a swing or a chair on the deck.
Mrs. Placitella- That would be living space.
Mr. Adler- …but it is not habitable space,.
                                                                         Page 3 Sept. 11, 2008

Attorney Vella- Mr. Brautigan have you ever counted a post of a deck as part of building coverage.
Mr. Brautigan- A building does not have to have a foundation to be part of a house and be
counted as building lot coverage.
Attorney Vella- I have no further questions.

Engineer Charles Rooney provided the following testimony. From my review of the plans the
applicant has called the front open space on the Garfield Ave. and First Ave. side a porch. It
 is clearly labeled as that in the plans. We clearly indicate in our definition of a porch that it
should be included as building lot coverage. Now there has been some argument that it is a deck
not a porch, but they are superimposing over this deck columns, beams, and joists that they are calling
a trellis. Under our definition of accessory building, structures, it states that any building or structure,
and I hope the applicant will agree what they are calling a trellis is a structure, attached to the
principal building shall be considered as part of the principal structure and shall comply with all
aspects of the principal building. So in my opinion not only should the front porch be included in
building lot coverage but the other trellis on First Ave should also be included in building lot

The meeting was opened to the public.

Attorney Vella then made a summation.

Board members made brief statements regarding the application.

Attorney Carton indicated that each question should be voted on separately.

Motion by Maxwell, second by Davey, that the decision of the Zoning Officer not to allow
the proposed third floor deck is upheld.

Vote on the motion
Yes- Davey, Maxwell, Placitella,
No- Ryan.

The motion is approved

Motion by Placitella, Second by Ryan, that the decision of the Zoning Officer to include
the trellis
in Building lot coverage is upheld .
Vote on the motion
Yes- Davey, Maxwell, Placitella, Ryan.
No- None

The motion is approved

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